Population estimate of Haematopus ostralegus longipes based on non-breeding numbers in January


41 – 46

26 August 14

Marc van Roomen, Tom Langendoen, Hamid Amini, Jimmy de Fouw, Taej Mundkur, Andrew Thorpe, Bruno J. Ens

Marc van Roomen

Sovon Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology, PO Box 6521, 6503 GA, Nijmegen, The Netherlands


Public Files

Based on the results of the International Waterbird Census, additional references and expert judgement, the population size of the subspecies Haematopus ostralegus longipes is estimated to be not more than 27,000–40,000 birds in January in the years 2002–2012. This compares well with an independent estimate based on breeding numbers resulting in 10,500–15,000 breeding pairs and a resulting non-breeding population of 26,000–37,000 birds. This estimate for longipes includes buturlini (recognized as a separate subspecies by some) in accordance with the division in subspecies for Eurasian Oystercatcher as used in the Waterbird Population Estimates publications. This new population estimate is considerable smaller than the previous ones, which were 100,000–200,000 birds (Wetlands International 2002, 2006, 2012). The difference is most probably caused by overestimation and partly wrong data used for the previous estimates. Based on scant information about numbers in the 1970s, 80s and 90s in the region (Iran, Oman, Pakistan and India), no major change in numbers of Oystercatchers seems apparent in that time period.